MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — One Connecticut is looking to replicate the success of another city’s police program aimed at curbing juvenile crime.
Members of the Middletown Police Department are gearing up to help change students’ lives by providing opportunities that lead to success through the Police Activity League (PAL).
“The PAL program is a national initiative that combats youth in crisis,” Police Chief Erik Costa said.
In Waterbury, the after-school program is already a proven success. Students participate in activities ranging from playing basketball to volunteering to shovel snow for seniors. Patrolman Elliot Arroyo used to be one of those students.
“It gave me things to do outside of school,” Arroyo said. “When I got out of school, I knew that I had sports, I knew that I had obligations and opportunities.”
Macdonough Elementary School is where the Middletown Police Department will launch its first PAL Program on May 7, and it could be a game-changer for students.
”It’s not just athletics,” Costa said. “It’s going to go into theatre, it’s going to go into engineering and community services.”
PAL will accomplish that goal by working with community partners. It’s a pathway that could even lead to future job opportunities. For one parent, the launch comes as welcome news.
“Anything to get kids involved in after-school activities is a great idea,” Maegan Fuller said.
“We’re here as a partner to the community to ensure its safety, Costa said. “Building partnerships in the community makes us safer.”